WHAT’S NEW AS OF APRIL 2012?
Note from the Editor
Distributed Energy Storage, coming soon to a grid near you
Energy storage technologies have existed as long as the grid itself. As a result of several recent advancements in smart grid communications and material sciences, however, distributed energy storage is primed to become a much bigger player in the next few years. As the crucial link between variable renewable energy resources and a stable utility load, it has the potential to add considerable value to many renewable energy applications. Why focus on distributed, rather than utility-scale storage? While both are important, distributed storage is often smaller in size so it can be placed along multiple different points on the utility grid, making it a more flexible option than many utility-scale facilities.
Energy storage facilities can generally be categorized based on the amount of time they can store energy and the types of applications for which they are best suited. For example, the type of energy storage facility needed for long-term bulk energy storage will differ greatly from one needed for shorter-term storage to maintain the power quality of a distributed generation facility. The technologies that have been developed also vary wildly in their complexity, from low-tech pumped hydro or compressed air, to high-tech superconducting magnetic energy storage. For a quick overview of the main energy storage technologies, their various uses and relative costs, see tables 1, 2 and 4 in this Sandia report: Energy Storage Systems Cost Update.
State News in Detail
New York Power Authority seeks solar cost reductions
Virginia SCC announces hearing for utility community solar program
Pennsylvania PUC clarifies ownership status issue for net metering eligibility
Indiana IURC notes success of net metering program
Florida municipality dabbles in PACE financing
California stakeholders reach momentous Interconnection Rule 21 Settlement; PUC seeks to clarify the net metering cap calculation
Washington UTC directs collaborative process to update state’s interconnection standards
Hawaii PUC directs renewables-related initiative for reliability standards
NREL releases Impact of Treasury Grant 1603 Report
Department of Energy investing in Energy Storage
Download the full newsletter as a PDF: April Connecting to the Grid Newsletter
While customer-sited net metering and interconnection policies are primarily addressed at the state level, they are also becoming important on a regional basis. This newsletter has been designed to provide state-level policy updates and capture emerging regional trends. Connecting to the Grid is a free, electronic newsletter published each month by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC). Click here to subscribe.
Editor: Laurel Varnado